The other day I heard a wounded heart open its mouth and speak. It was a statement said with fear in the disguise of confidence.
"You can't trust anyone," It said.
For a moment I expected to turn and see someone who looked like a villain. The kind you might see in a movie scene where the character is sinister, ice blue eyes glaring, and an evil scheme in mind. But that wasn't the case at all. She was polished, petite and very pretty.
What a terrible way to live, I thought to myself. But I know that I, too, have built walls around myself. An expert bricklayer. Brick upon brick. Row by row. A well-guarded fortress keeping others out, and keeping myself in.
That's what happens when the heart doesn't fully heal. When there has been some infraction against it; a betrayal or a loss. It guards and protects from the thing that might be its undoing, were it were to happen again. It opens the door when fear knocks. Invites fear in and allows it to make a bed, settling in. Stay awhile, won't you? Because if fear moves in, it just might protect me.
It seems like wisdom, but it isn't wisdom at all. It is bitterness. Heavy and isolating, coloring everything I see with a dull shade of gray.
You see, sometimes I think I have healed from that thing in the past that hurt me so deeply. From that friend who decided to never have time anymore. From that person who promised to love me and then chose to love someone else. From that parent who never showed up for the recital or any event of my life.
It often seems as though I should have healed by now. And in part, I have. At least enough to survive the trauma at the time. Yet now so much time has passed, and surely there must be an expiration date on these wounds, isn't there?
But the bandaid starts to lift because it can only hold for so long. And wounds in the heart eventually begin to raise too. They rise closer and closer to the surface until the wounds eventually seep out onto everyone around me.
Spreading far and wide into my relationships. Into my perspective, tainting the words I speak.
A person can only run so far from the truth. Eventually, anemia catches up to a hemorrhage. It robs me of my health, strength and the ability to live.
I hear her words replay in my mind, "You can't trust anyone."
Oh, but you can. And the time for healing has come.
If I allow it, The Great Physician will come. He knows what I need, even when I don't. He will do his work of healing and refining and making all things new.
So I will be still now. I won't try to escape the process because I know that it will only hurt worse if I do. It will only prolong the pain of healing.
That cut that I feel is the most perfect precision from a skilled surgeon, whose goal it to cut in order to bring about healing. Sometimes bones have to be reset to heal correctly. Sometimes old wounds have to be revisited in order to scar and heal.
I know from past experience that it often feels easier to allow things to remain the same. But there is a time for my broken heart to be mended. The Spirit and Counselor within me whispers, "There is a better way to live."
"There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance..." (Ecclesiastes 3:1-4, NIV)
"See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland." (Isaiah 43:19, NIV)
FOR FURTHER THOUGHT
In many of the most painful seasons of my life, I later learned that they were also seasons of great healing. Healing can be a very painful process because it often involves re-living the event that caused the pain to begin with. I have learned over time that God loves me too much to leave me where I am.
The Bible reminds me that, "He who began a good work in me will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." (Philippians 1:6, NIV) I have learned that God can be trusted with the events and the people that caused me sorrow, and that He is faithful to redeem the pain and restore me again.
Father, thank you for being committed to the slow work of my healing. I pray that you will expose any bitterness or lack of forgiveness in my heart and help me be willing to forgive others and show grace with the same measure that you have shown to me. I thank you for the new things that you are doing in my heart and life. Help me to let go of the old so I can make room for all that you have for me. Amen.
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